On Dec. 19, while most students were away enjoying their four-week winter break, Drexel University hosted its annual Service Recognition Luncheon. This year, the private institution acknowledged a total of 594 faculty members and professional staff. The two-hour event took place at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Philadelphia — its usual location.
The Service Recognition Luncheon celebrates the dedication of Drexel employees who have achieved significant service milestones — in five-year increments — during their career at the University, including the Academy of Natural Sciences.
The employees being honored were in attendance along with their immediate supervisors. They enjoyed an hour-long buffet-style lunch, which started promptly at 11:30 a.m. After the attendees grubbed on delicious entrees, the program began with opening remarks from Vice President of Human Resources Lou Bellardine, Chief Financial Officer Helen Bowman, President John A. Fry, and the always enthusiastic Drexel Trustee Renee Amoore. Then, the presentation of awards commenced.
First and foremost, Fry presented the only honoree with 45 years of service: Miriam Kotzin. The department head of English & Philosophy, who is long-time friends with Kotzin, gave a heartfelt speech before celebrating her. Within her 45-year tenure at Drexel, Kotzin has greatly impacted the English department. In fact, she is most recognized for being the founding Director of the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing. Since Kotzin was the honoree with the most years of service at the event, being with the University since 1969, she received special recognition — getting her biography and photo printed in the program booklet. As she walked to the stage to receive her award, a 30-second standing ovation took place.
Ten honorees that each devoted 40 years of service to Drexel were then recognized individually. They were also called to the stage and received an award and were photographed with Fry.
Due to the time constraint of the event, all other honorees were not awarded individually like Kotzin or the employees with 40 years of service. Since the number of honorees increased as the years of service decreased in each category, the recognition was altered: instead of calling individual honorees in the other categories onto the stage to receive an award, the presenter asked every honoree in each category to stand. Applause continued until all names were called, and the audience commended them collectively. It was more manageable to celebrate the employees in that fashion. The honorees with five years of service were 227 employees alone.
What’s more important is that the faculty and staff was praised for their diligence. Director of Human Resources Programs & Events Althea Wallace, who was acknowledged for five years of service at Drexel, appreciates the institution for being thankful — especially during the holiday season.
“As longer-term employees, faculty and professional staff members have experienced many significant achievements in their tenure with Drexel,” Wallace said. “[This event recognizes] the service they have provided in helping Drexel to continue in its growth and transformation.”
She, along with HR Coordinator Chantell Bowman, managed the Service Recognition Program together — implementing yet another successful event; back in November, Wallace programmed the 2014 President’s Awards.